[cryptography] CAPTCHA as a Security System?

Randall Webmail rvh40 at insightbb.com
Tue Jan 3 02:09:21 EST 2012

From: Thor Lancelot Simon <tls at panix.com>
To: Randall Webmail <rvh40 at insightbb.com>
Cc: Crypto List <cryptography at randombit.net>
Sent: Tue, 03 Jan 2012 01:58:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: [cryptography] CAPTCHA as a Security System?

On Tue, Jan 03, 2012 at 01:57:10AM -0500, Randall Webmail wrote:
>> There is one girl (and it is always a girl) who is at the control center.   She comes to the checkout station to override the system when the shopper scans beer.  No one watches to see if you scan every item in your cart.    Most people don't steal, and it's cheaper for Wal*Mart to allow the thieves to ply their trade than it is to put $8.00/hour girls in place to (mostly) stop those who do.

>You have more faith in human nature (or perhaps a considerably less
sophisticated understanding of the costs of inventory shrinkage) than 
Walmart does.

>Look up.

Yes, of course there are the black hemisphere cameras on the ceiling.

They're videotaping everytihng that goes on.

The checkouts are thirty feet from the exit doors.

What are the odds that anyone is going to be watching the live video AND that they will notice the shopper who does not scan the $30 ham AND that they will alert security AND that security will intercept the shopper before he leaves the store?

I don't know about Wal*Mart, but the policy in Rite Aid stores here (Louisville, KY) is that people who are caught shoplifting are told not to come back to Rite Aid.

There is no prosecution - because it costs money to send witnesses to court, and the only thing the court is going to do is fine them and charge them court costs totaling around $200 - and tell them to stay out of Rite Aid.

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